Wifredo Lam

Galerie Lelong & Co. | 13 rue de Téhéran

The received view of Wifredo Lam (1902–82) is this: he did his best work in the ’40s. Partly, this view has to do with criticism’s emphasis on formal breakthroughs. In his paintings of the 40s. Lam’s fracturing of space was derived from Cubism and therefore acceptable to formalist critics; however, when he began moving away from Cubism, his work is thought to have become weaker. By constantly evoking the artist’s friendship with Pablo Picasso—and the notion of influence—many writers found a way to minimize Lam’s achievement. Even his paintings of the ’40s are seen in the shadow of Picasso’s accomplishment.

This exhibition, consisting mostly of work done between the mid ’60s and the mid ’70s, encourages another view. Lam’s sustained development and accomplishment are significant enough that his continued neglect in America can be seen as both a manifestation of racism and a reaction to his

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